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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

#shards: listening between the lines


I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time. I knew I wanted to capture the somewhat ephemeral words of those poet-songwriters I fill my ears with daily. I love music, but I must admit I love lyrics more. As an amateur lyricist myself, I love the the constraints of penning something to match music..the wordplay it inflicts.  Music offers up a set mood and tone, and the lyricist must try to fit his craft into that beautiful box.

Originally I was thinking about a way to use Paper 53 for iPhone when I was testing it out in beta. What could I do better with the phone app on my cracked iPhone 5 than on my luxuriously large iPad? It turns out, a lot. Nevertheless, I abandoned my #shards project for a while until I found this amazing old-school slate tablet at Target for $1! Coupled with a dollar box-o-chalk I knew I could resurrect my second grade penmanship for the new millennium.

I love the juxtaposition of the unlikely,

so I settled on using only New Wave-ish eighties songs (my go-to choice of music for sheer entertainment). Basically, the project follows my whim and my feeling of the day…whatever earworm haunts me gets translated into my now faulty cursive.


Over time (above is the first one), the board gets scarred with the shards of the past scribblings (how meta is that?!)

I rather like that…the poem strings that haunted me  through the day as music

still haunt over time as script.


Of course, the name “#shards” indicates these are like scattered pieces of broken pottery or glass falling haphazardly, randomly. Their sharp edges stick to my soul and colour my day’s thinking and feeling.

I think I’ll try to do one a day for a while, then open it up to requests. That is, unless I wear out my poor slate…



Who knows? It might be a neat coffee table book if arranged thematically, or I could contextualize them to give them more depth…or even use in a keynote if I can tease a metaphor for education out of there.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.46.29 AM

#newwave #shards #project #music #creativity #paper53 #poetry #typography #amyburvall

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